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Thread: Transformer welder for a dump load?

  1. #1
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    Transformer welder for a dump load?

    Do any of you have any thoughts about this??

    I am looking for a way I can get 30-50a draw on 240v to get a good load on a generator (specifically the engine, not the electrical system). I have heard of people warming up welding rods by shorting them out. So that brings up the question - is there a way I could rig the welders circuit with something (not necessarily welding rods) to get me in the range of electrical draw I am trying to get to - without damaging the welder? I'd like to be able to let the rig run for a period of time - as in beyond just burning a few rods.

    I did test a circuit once using 2x 5/32" rods welded together so I could crank the amps up on the welder. However, the burn time on that isn't long enough and that seems like a lot of waste - rods and metal the beads are on.

    For reference the welder I am looking at using is an Idealarc 250 AC/DC (1966 MY, round top).

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    Re: Transformer welder for a dump load?

    whats the purpose... To "break in" the generator?

    I wouldn't think that would be necessary...
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    Re: Transformer welder for a dump load?

    Quote Originally Posted by FlyFishn View Post
    Do any of you have any thoughts about this??

    I am looking for a way I can get 30-50a draw on 240v to get a good load on a generator (specifically the engine, not the electrical system). I have heard of people warming up welding rods by shorting them out. So that brings up the question - is there a way I could rig the welders circuit with something (not necessarily welding rods) to get me in the range of electrical draw I am trying to get to - without damaging the welder? I'd like to be able to let the rig run for a period of time - as in beyond just burning a few rods.

    I did test a circuit once using 2x 5/32" rods welded together so I could crank the amps up on the welder. However, the burn time on that isn't long enough and that seems like a lot of waste - rods and metal the beads are on.

    For reference the welder I am looking at using is an Idealarc 250 AC/DC (1966 MY, round top).
    Get a few 3/8-1/2" carbon-arc electrodes, get or make a dual-electrode holder (make an enclosure to contain the torch if the light and heat would interfere with the other operations), starting with the electrodes just barely touching. They will burn some while before the gap increases enough to extinguish the arc. A few variations on this idea are possible, e.g. setting the carbons on a pile of sand; dry, or wetted w/ dilute salt water. Try AC first. although DC may be more stable.

    Other methods might be building a giant electromagnet, or running the current through very long sections of steel pipe, perhaps a few scrap 20' sections connected with "U" fittings (not part of the building water system though).

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    Re: Transformer welder for a dump load?

    What about making a homebrew saltwater load bank? You'd be able to dump a LOT of kW of power into trying to boil that water...not sure what it might do to your welder or generator, though!

    https://forums.mikeholt.com/threads/...oadbank.46075/
    Last edited by StandarDyne; 05-08-2022 at 11:58 AM.

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    Re: Transformer welder for a dump load?

    I am sure all these schemes would be easier or simpler than finding a resistor? Easy way would be to wire it to a heater element, even water heater.
    I did test a circuit once using 2x 5/32" rods welded together so I could crank the amps up on the welder. However, the burn time on that isn't long enough and that seems like a lot of waste - rods and metal the beads are on.

    For reference the welder I am looking at using is an Idealarc 250 AC/DC (1966 MY, round top).
    At 240 volts this is extremely dangerous and would short circuit the genset. 2nd,, this is a super poor machine to try to run from one.
    Last edited by Sberry; 05-08-2022 at 12:08 PM.

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    Re: Transformer welder for a dump load?

    Homemade water resistor used with extreme caution.



    I’ve seen some old variable speed motor drives using
    water resistors for speed control. Just one of the many
    speed control methods before VFDs.
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    Re: Transformer welder for a dump load?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sberry View Post
    I am sure all these schemes would be easier or simpler than finding a resistor? Easy way would be to wire it to a heater element, even water heater.
    At 240 volts this is extremely dangerous and would short circuit the genset. 2nd,, this is a super poor machine to try to run from one.
    My take was that the OP wants to run his welder
    For reference the welder I am looking at using is an Idealarc 250 AC/DC
    from the 220 AC output of the generator, and wants to know how to run the welder at high amperage for more than a minute or two while it is drawing between 30 and 50 amps. He isn't using the 240 v current in any of out schemes. I don't know where most people could easily get enough 240v oven heater elements to hook in parallel to draw 40 amps directly from the generator (although I may have them...) and where would one get a normal resistor large enough for the job?

    The dilute salt-water bath using the current from the welder sounds quite reasonable.

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    Re: Transformer welder for a dump load?

    Whoop-s, I had to re read this whole thing,,, wants to short the welder to load the engine.
    Last edited by Sberry; 05-08-2022 at 01:49 PM.

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    Re: Transformer welder for a dump load?

    What is the purpose of loading the gennie? just to see if the smoke leaks out of it?
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    Re: Transformer welder for a dump load?

    It took me a min to grasp,,,, he wants to short circuit the welder to use as a load bank for the genset.

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    Re: Transformer welder for a dump load?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sberry View Post
    he wants to short circuit the welder to use as a load bank for the genset.
    Why?

    For what purpose?
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    Re: Transformer welder for a dump load?

    Quote Originally Posted by John T View Post
    Why?

    For what purpose?
    Not sure whether it applies for regular generators, but I seem to recall hearing that Miller recommended putting some of their engine drive welders on a load bank for some length of time when the welders were first put into service...not sure why. Do the brushes (or slip rings or whatever) need to "seat in," kind of like piston rings? Is there some reason you would want to heat up the windings, maybe to finish hardening the epoxy or varnish or whatever coating is on them? Dunno...just throwing it out there.
    Last edited by StandarDyne; 05-08-2022 at 06:43 PM.

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    Re: Transformer welder for a dump load?

    Prolly wants to see if it makes full power?

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    Re: Transformer welder for a dump load?

    Well,
    cutting through all the BS,

    seems like post #2 hit the nail on the head.
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  15. #15
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    Re: Transformer welder for a dump load?

    Gives the "inventors" something to work on.

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    Re: Transformer welder for a dump load?

    I generally plug in electric heaters to load a generator.
    Each "side" of a generator is 120v, so plugging in the same number of heaters on both circuits does the job.
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    Re: Transformer welder for a dump load?

    He wants to clap out the welder so it won't work right welding overhead.

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    Re: Transformer welder for a dump load?

    If the OP is looking to break in the engine and welding side of the Gen head and it's a Miller, he is in fact one of the few that actually read the manual. You can run on a load bank or weld at 200-250 amps for a select amount of time. Four hours I thought it was the last time we did a new Big Blue 800 dual.

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    Re: Transformer welder for a dump load?

    If you have an electric range at your location, this makes a very good load bank for testing gen-sets. Bob

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    Re: Transformer welder for a dump load?

    good idea, I was thinking oven, trying to put a finger on it but the range idea is perfect. Could turn any n umber of burners on. You should get the big bucks for that one.

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    Re: Transformer welder for a dump load?

    The cheap way is a homemade salt water load bank in one or more 55 gal drums. The less cheap way is resistive heating elements and fans. Of course, the premium way is an actual load bank.

    I don't know the OP's purpose in doing this, but when you test diesel gennys, they need ran under a load to prevent wet stacking.

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    Re: Transformer welder for a dump load?

    Thanks for the replies.

    No, the unit is not a Miller engine drive.

    The generator is a 15kw unit that has a Honda GX690 engine. It is new to me (and never ran from the previous owner) and I dont have much time on it. I want to say it ran for about 6 hours last summer.

    The issue with the generator is even if we were to run the whole house off of it there wouldnt be enough draw on it to really load it to get it up to temps. The ~6hr run last summer was an attempt tp break it in while running out camping, of sorts, but that was essentially running with next to no load.

    Engines need to be loaded. 20hrs is the break in period and the 6hr very little load I ran it with wasnt a good enough "break in".

    If we had a power outage where the central AC was running a lot then that would be a good time to break in - as the AC would draw a decent load. However, even central AC running (not start up) would be a light load for the generator. If I ran both the central AC and electric clothes dryer on high together that would get me in the range of load, but the AC cycling would mean start up load on top of the dryer - and the start up load of the AC may be higher than it can take (50a breaker and the engine does have enough power to drive through the breaker tripping I believe, though I have not tested that - I can at some point - and the welder set to high amperage can get up that high on draw).

    Im just trying to come up with a more controlled method.

    We dont have an electric range so that is out. The only 240 loads we have are central AC, clothes dryer, and welders. And Id like to get what ever method off the house - just between the generator and load.

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    Re: Transformer welder for a dump load?

    Honestly, you'll just shorten the life of that generator. Motors shouldn't be "broken in" under load. The manufacturer recommends the opposite

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    Re: Transformer welder for a dump load?

    Quote Originally Posted by Louie1961 View Post
    Honestly, you'll just shorten the life of that generator. Motors shouldn't be "broken in" under load. The manufacturer recommends the opposite
    Are using "motor" as the same term as "engine"? Diesel engines are usually "broken in" under varying loads, the worst thing you can do is run an engine under zero load trying to get the rings seated especially at an idle. When I turn a rebuilt truck engine out of the shop the driver is instructed to drive normally varying the speeds slightly and avoiding extra heavy pulls at first, hold a gear or two lower on long hills for the first 1500 miles to seat things in.

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  32. #25
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    Re: Transformer welder for a dump load?

    I think the OP is looking for a problem that does not exist.
    I just read the official Honda manual on this engine and nowhere in it does it say anything about
    a break in procedure or break in hours.

    https://cdn.powerequipment.honda.com...X37Z6L6010.pdf

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